State Route 87 Signal Project completes stop light at Sacaton Road

Emma Hughes
Gila River Indian News



Gila River Indian Community roadways received some changes along State Route 87, a two-way highway that runs through the Community. SR 87 has become a major roadway for the Community and surrounding areas. Over the years, Community members have shared concerns about the safety of the highway, which has experienced increased traffic and many accidents.


GRIC’s Community Council recognized that the safety of tribal members and people traveling through the Community needed to be addressed. In December 2016, the Executive Office requested a meeting with the Arizona Department of Transportation, public safety and others to discuss the safety improvements at three of the busiest intersections along SR 87: Olberg Road, Sacaton Road and Gilbert Road. From 2012 to 2017, there were 53 crashes that occurred at the three intersections. Two of which were fatal.


In August 2017, Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis wrote a formal letter to the Arizona Department of Transportation, requesting that State Route 87 be surveyed for signal lights at the three intersections. The request was approved by ADOT South Central District staff in October 2017. 


Study results showed that signals were needed at the intersections for safety due to the increased traffic. Federal Safety funds were awarded for the construction of the signal lights in April 2018. The design was completed in 2019 and construction began in March 2020. ADOT staff was responsible for the project development, clearance documents, design and bidding of the project. Construction has now been completed and signal lights have been activated at SR 87 and Sacaton Road, SR 87 and Olberg Road, with the Gilbert Road light to be completed by Dec. 8.


ADOT worked closely with the Community’s Department of Transportation, Land Use Planning and Zoning, and other tribal businesses to make the safety improvements.